The 2011 Tour de France recently ended with one of the most exciting finishes in its long history. The winner, Cadel Evans from Australia, was never in the lead during the three weeks of racing until the final time trial the day before the jaunt into Paris. After more than 2,000 miles of racing he won by less than two minutes. Watching the race on TV was like viewing a travelogue of the entire French countryside. The pictures of the racers, the picturesque towns, and the stunning Alps were spectacular from helicopters and motorbikes following the peloton.
American colleges support all kinds of sports, including cricket and fencing, and a handful have cycling. If you're a high school student who is a competitive cyclist and you have an interest in going to college and racing on the varsity team, where would you go? What colleges have competitive cycling, and even give scholarships for riding? If you said Marian University in Indianapolis that is a good start.
Marian has varsity cycling for both men and women, and in May, they won their 15th national championship (www.muknights.com). Other cycling colleges include Lindenwood University in Missouri, Union College in Kentucky, and Cumberland University in Tennessee. For a full listing go to www.usacycling.org/ncca/ and look for “Varsity Teams.” For other universities, such as Wisconsin and RPI, they have club teams that race, but they do not have varsity status. All of this competition is overseen, not by the NCAA, but by the National Collegiate Cycling Association.